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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 3, 2010 9:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: a few words from Mountain Girl

(While browsing through this site,
ftp://gdead.berkeley.edu/pub/gdead/interviews
I came across some interesting comments from Carolyn Garcia in '97 that I thought might be worth posting...)

You know the whole period where my kids were little, there was a lot of weirdness going on in California around the Grateful Dead scene. There was a lot of very strange people who thought nothing of dropping by the house at four a.m. to seek admittance or to seek your opinion on some wild topic or other, and would knock on the door. I totally couldn't stand that. I became security-conscious.

We had a couple of incidents that led up to my getting very nervous about living in Marin County. Everybody knew where we lived, and it was very difficult to maintain the premises in a secure fashion, because there was that whole big anxiety out there about Jerry. I couldn't deal with it after a while. It was too hard to deal with around the kids, and it became very necessary to seek sort of a retreat position for them when they were young, so that they wouldn't be into that thing of, if they wanted to go somewhere, call a limo. I can't stand that. That's not me. If they want to go somewhere, they can ride their bike, you know? They're kids. And that was the essence of most of my decisions about that stuff -- how to make it right for them.

Jerry had his chosen path with the Grateful Dead. Hell nor high water was going to shake him loose from that. So nothing could make that stop happening; it had a life and an energy of its own.

Sometimes I even felt crushed by that, like my needs and desires were infinitesimal compared to what the Grateful Dead or the public needed from Jerry or from the band, and so our lives were just lived in the corners and edges of all that. And it just ate up everything. Of course, we were all willing participants in that in the beginning. That is what we were trying to do, but once it reached a juggernaut status in the '70s, that became a real problem as far as how to live and how to live well and how to live ethically.

Neither Jerry nor I came from wealthy backgrounds. I think that he enjoyed his wealth more than I did. I kind of had an ethical problem, a moral problem with having too much money. When we finally did have a bunch of problems, it just created a bunch of conflict for me. And also, as a parent, it created quite a bit of conflict.

I know Jerry had a lot of facets to his personality. He definitely saved some of them just for his family, and some of them were for his very public aspects. But, you know, he was obviously struggling with a lot of his own personal problems, and his solution to some of that stuff was to close himself off from everybody for periods of time. That was really hard on the kids. They didn't understand that. Really, in retrospect now, I can look back at that and see that that was a hurdle that he set up that we should have been able to cross… The whole thing was kind of fear-inspiring. I think that if we had tried harder or had more encouragement, maybe things wouldn't have gotten as bad as they did.

It's very confusing when you've got so many people invested in his ability to play and go out on the road and do shows. To have your life accounted for a year ahead of time in the bookings -- they booked these shows a year ahead of time. For old radical hippies like ourselves to have to be somewhere on day X at hour Y...it's terrible! You hate that! And I think that's what Jerry hated more than anything was the commitment of his time to stuff that he couldn't control any more.

Booking and touring all got a lot more locked down when they started working just for two or three different people, for Monarch and Cellar Door and BGP and so on. Everything sort of got graven in stone. We became the establishment. And then everybody started taking shots at us. We were the people taking shots at the establishment for a really long time, and then that turned over. And that was a scary process, to become the musical establishment. I mean, ewwww! (She laughs.) How did that happen?

This was the truly down side of success, and I feel bad for the band members, because they really got caught up in that. And I think it hurt everybody, because we had a lot of fun back when things were loose and came and went and things fell together and fell apart. It was no big deal. Suddenly, it all became such a big deal, and that's hard to live with.

It was so important to people to go to these shows. And the band recognized that and understood it innately. They understood it way back at the beginning, how important it was. We knew that. We knew it was important to people, because it was that break-out thing, the change in space, that change of mental space. And then there was the healing aspect that came along with it, and people would go to the shows for healing, for the uplift, for whatever that big cookie was that you would come away with that would put the big smile on your face. That was generated not just by the music, but also by the event. But I think it was, in large part, from the music. It just became so overwhelmingly positive and such a force of positiveness.

My feeling about the importance of the Grateful Dead hasn't changed. It's still really important. And it's really important that people remember about what it was like before this band happened in this country. It was kind of grim.

I remember the first show we went and did in Chicago, and it was like, the late '60s, and there had been riots and the Chicago Seven... And every person backstage that wasn't one of us was a cop! There was 150 armed cops backstage! They were not even out in the audience -- they were watchin' us! And the feeling that you got from that...you get so mad, because the attitude was, "These people must be controlled." You know, that controlling attitude -- that's still alive and well in this country, and it's flourishing and passing new laws every day.

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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Dec 4, 2010 1:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

Actually, if you read the whole interview, she was happy with the settlement, just appalled at the proceedings. And she still had her 1965ish-we-have-to-share-this-vision energy intact 35 years later.

I only wish her the best, wherever she is today. Wish she'd write a memoir, though ;-)

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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Dec 4, 2010 8:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

She's living up around Eugene/Springfield Oregon. Lots of pranksters up there. Just too much shit to deal with living in the SF Bay Area...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 4, 2010 4:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

That's partly why I put up the pic of her and Jerry on 8(?) Aug 1995 on my office door; I really think she was the best thing that ever happened to Jerry (of course, as a romantic sap, it can't be Hunter...sorry).

The aptly describes much of what we've all sensed here, discussed many times...a nice counterpoint is that 71 book, Signpost to Newspace, in that it describes a time just before it really got bad, and they both seemed much better then.

I tell ya, it makes you only wanna listen to 71 and before. Do you really want to hear music from someone making her and the kids so unhappy?

JK.

I think.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Dec 4, 2010 7:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

Tell, please feel free to send me your unopened Winterland '73 box set. (HA!)

I was thinking about that when you bumped that thread the other day (68-73 recs)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 4, 2010 10:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

Hey BDl, I probably should do that...seriously. If it weren't for the fact that it sits so nicely as an anchor to my "wall of DEAD CDs" (you know my organizational obsession!), as the "last entry", I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Did you pass on that one? I'd have pegged you for one that had to have it, etc....It's still available, though--right? I can't recall the details. Are you sitting down? [duh...who types in posts while standing?!!] The terrible truth is I think I only listened to some of the disks a single time through.

You have to give me credit for trying though, eh?

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Poster: billydlions Date: Dec 4, 2010 5:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

No I never bought it. It took me a while to warm up to 1973. Some of the shows were just too laid back for me (just like 1976). 1972 ended so strong and 1974 is my favorite of the Keith years and '73 is kinda caught in between. That being said, I really do like the Winterland run and Charlie Miller's releases sound pretty good.

I doubt the sound quality is enough of an upgrade to entice me to buy the box set, but perhaps you have an opinion on that? I'm not sure why GDP puts out releases where there are excellent circulating sources already available.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 5, 2010 6:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

Oh, as I have said MANY times, EVERY purchase, even this one (I lied...I did have some 73s around to compare) was a GREAT upgrade. I really notice the subtle diff's in production, hiss removal, absence of diginoise, etc.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Dec 5, 2010 1:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: and a few words from Jerry (and me)

Thanks to our main archivist buff, LIA, I happened upon the Jerry interview from Nov '70 and it starts out talking about a bummer concert the night before and then we get a very relevant quote to this ongoing discussion we've been having.
http://www.itkowitz.com/mam1965text.php?aid=260

In the last year or so, you've been getting much bigger. Like, a lot more people.

Jerry: Yeah, it's too weird, after all this time. Well, last night, if that's an example of what it's going to be like I'd just as soon fuck'n retire, man. I don't want to make any performances - appearances when there's that kind of shit goin' on. You know, I really don't. I'm not interested in it. Yeah, it's too weird. I mean, it's only music. That's the way I feel about; it's only music.

Music obviously exerts a tremendous force on this country ...

Jerry: Oh, yeah, I guess it is; but that doesn't mean that I oughta carry around the responsibility of being that guy that dispenses our music, you know what I mean? It's like being the President. I don't want it. I don't want the fuck'n job. I mean, I liked it when you could just be a musician; it's like being an artist and a craftsman or something, you know: it's a craftsman trip. Nobody goes - nobody mobs a cat that makes nice leather clothes, man, or a guy that does woodwork. Why the fuck should they mob musicians? I mean, it's weird.

Has that been hassling you a lot lately?

Only when we play at colleges, man. That's the only place where it's going on like that. And our audience is mostly, like, older and cool, pretty cool about that kind of shit.

***I wonder when it really became more about the money and keeping the beast going than the music. They caught it before it got out of hand in '74 but after that...? Seems like Jerry just went along with it even though he felt this negative aspect as early as '70... no wonder the man self-medicated with drugs most of his career, having to live with this cognitive dissonance...

edit for a quote from later on in the interview:

Last night I got the feeling that you guys were really uptight?

No, we weren't really uptight but the sound wasn't good, it wasn't particularly pleasant, and all those, you know, militant vibes, man, shit, that kinda stuff. And the thing is, in New York, you can't get a moment's peace. I mean, not a moment's peace. You can't go and sit somewhere and get your head together and cool yourself out a little before you play. 'Cause, like, there's a million people going "Ahhhhh!" I mean, it's weird. You see, that don't happen to us anyplace but here. And it makes it so each time we come here it's a little weirder. And eventually we're gonna get to that point of diminishing returns where we would be leaving more fucked up than when we came. You know, I mean, that and that's like, "Who wants it?" 'Cause you can't play good music if your head is fucked up. Really. You can create excitement but you can't get into anything very deep. And that kinda stuff fucks your head up.

This post was modified by deadpolitics on 2010-12-05 09:31:34

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Poster: Grateful Rat Date: Dec 5, 2010 6:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: and a few words from Jerry (and me)

Thanks for the link..I always enjoy Jerry's views and thoughts. I especially enjoyed his take on the celebrity aspect of being a musician as opposed to other artists and craftsmen. I had never really thought about that

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Dec 4, 2010 7:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: a few words from Mountain Girl

This isn't a new or stunning statement . The time during the early seventies that Garcia just lived w/MG & Sunshine at Mount Tamapais was the most peaceful domestic time in his life . MG from all that I've seen and read is my kind of lady . ( Does the 'never trust a Prankster' not apply in marriage?) Strong views . Strong actions . Strong lady . I remember ( to my shame ) watching the Court TV proceeding's in the '90's of the MG vs. Koons civil trial . How everyone looked embarrassed . Like , "its come to this?" Especially Phil , who sunk MG's case by testifying about the veracity of DB against her faulty memory . I think it worked out financially to some extent for MG ?
Her comments about the shredding of their ideals , what it means to raise children , handling Big Boy/Girl money , dealing with success , spoke to me . The heaviness of all that freaking paperwork ; financial , contractual , legal , personnel issues , ect. , and the attendant people that come with the freaking paperwork .
That GD train was powerful . That's how many have described being "in' the band ,
"And it just ate up everything. Of course, we were all willing participants in that in the beginning. That is what we were trying to do, but once it reached a juggernaut status in the '70s, that became a real problem as far as how to live and how to live well and how to live ethically."
And we who followed them for decades , across the country ( several times , more ?) , for 1,2 3, hundred shows thought we had it bad .